| September 2008
October is almost upon us and our first issue for the season ships October 15. Thanks to everyone who has renewed their subscriptions in recent weeks or subscribed for the first time . If you ordered other shwag with your subscription, the schwag will ship first and the first issue of the season will follow on the 15th.
We just got a new shipment of Voile Straps, 15 inch with metal tabs. I am working on hats and hoodies, but we are a month or so out on those.
Locally, a fire up on Hood has been of interest and I recently got an aerial image form the USFS showing the burn around historic cloudcap and thought the image was worth sharing for anyone familiar with the area
Lowell Skoog recently sent us a note that the latest edition of the Northwest Mountaineering Journal (nwmj) is available online here. NWMJ is a great reference for northwest mountaineering accomplishments as well as a source of good indepth pieces on many aspects of northwest mountaineering. Be sure to check out the ski descents being done by Sky Sjue and friends in the short reports section as well as the Climber's Guide to the Universe by Malcome Bates.
Ski films are in the air and Adventure Filmworks will be on the road with their new film, AK the Hard Way in October. If you are in the Bay Area or Seattle check out the schedule here. Sweetgrass-Productions is showing their film Hand Cut this fall too. From Colorado to Canada to the Northwest and the east coast. Also be sure to check out the Powderwhore crew as the set off on their tour Oct 1 too.
Fall Ski Update
Well, despite recent fires in our local area, winter is creeping up on us. David Begg at Yamnuska Mountaineering in Canmore, AB sent us this image of recent snows on the French Glacier in Kananaskis. Word is that the Canadian Rockies have seen numerous early dustings already this fall.
With winter approaching we are busy getting the first issue of the season ready for publication. Yeah, Powder mag has already released two issues and Backcountry has at least one out, but we prefer to read about skiing in the thick of fall so our first issue launches in mid-October. There is still time to subscribe. We have sold out of organic cotton ball caps, but are working on getting more. Off-Piste logo Voile straps are back in stock . Two straps for nine bucks, including shipping. If you have some voile straps, you know you could use more and if you don't have any, you need some.
The upcoming October issue includes our annual ski review, an interview with the new owners and manager at Whitewater Ski Area, a look at demystifying ENSO (commonly known as the El Nino/La Nina phenomena), and more.
Gnarl Ridge Fire Images
The Gnarl Ridge fire on Mt Hood contnues to burn, although, it sounds like it is much less aggressive than it was last week. The best details on the fire's status are available here.
I received these images of the Cloudcap road area from Kevin Slagle at the Forest Service today. Pretty incredible change, but it reinforces my feeling that there will be some interesting exploring on skis in the area this winter.
Mt Hood Fire Update
Good news on the Mt Hood fire front. Fire personnel made it up to the Cloud Cap / Tilly Jane area on Thursday and all structures are intact. The fire burned throughout the area, but left the historic buildings untouched.
The fire is still uncontained, but it sounds like the worst of the danger for places like Cloud Cap, Tilly Jane, and the Snowshoe cabin has passed.
Large areas of the Polallie and Eliot creek drainages have burned and it should make for some interesting skiing...
Gnarl Ridge Fire on Mt Hood
A short update as of about 3pm Thursday: The latest report shows that Cloud Cap and the Snowshoe cabin are still ok. Also, a visual on the Tilly Jane area allowed views of the tree canopy around Tilly Jane and it too was intact. Although no direct visual on the A-frame or guard station was confirmed, the existence of the canopy is a good sign that it could be ok.
The Gnarl Ridge fire on Mt Hood that began with lightening strikes back in early August has regained new life. The fire spread very quickly up Polallie Canyon on Tuesday Sept 16 and jumped into Eliot creek today threatening the historic Tilly Jane and Cloud Cap structures on Mt Hood's north side.
Neither Tilly Jane or Cloud Cap was wrapped or foamed this time and as of about 5pm Wednesday, the status of Tilly Jane was unknown as visibility has been blocked by heavy smoke, but many folks fear the worst. Cloud Cap Inn was reported to be intact as of about 4pm according to visuals from overflights. Fire retardant was being dropped to help save Cloud Cap, but heavy smoke has limited visibility and flight activity.
I spent a couple hours watching the fire this evening as the sun went down and the scale and rate of movement is impressive. At about 2,000 acres, the fire is one of the largest on the Mt Hood National Forest in many years.
Federal Court Rules in favor of clean and quiet in Yellowstone
In response to a legal challenge brought by Winter Wildlands Alliance and four coalition partners, the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. yesterday handed down a ruling overturning the Bush administration's plan to allow more than 500 snowmobiles per day in Yellowstone National Park.
In a 63-page ruling overturning the Park Service's 2007 Winter Use Plan, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan called the plan "arbitrary and capricious, unsupported by the record, and contrary to law," and directed the Park Service to institute a plan in keeping with its fundamental purpose to conserve park resources and values.
Full details are available from Winter Wildlands Alliance
Hand Cut feeds the stoke for winter
Sun, Rain, Snow, Reports From the Mountains
We are having an incredible round of late summer weather here in Oregon, with some great 30 degree temp swing days (50 at night and 80 during the day). This is not the case everywhere though.
Word from our friends at Alyeska Hostel in Girdwood, AK is 16 consecutive days of rain with the snowline flirting with four thousand feet and no obvious changes in this pattern for the near future. This pattern could offer some early season turns up north.
First Ski Movie of the Season
When the first ski mags arrived over a month ago, it was pushing 100 degrees and it did not feel right to sit and read about skiing, but we are pushing mid september now and I feel fall coming. To confirm that fall is indeed in the air, the first of the ski films have arrived in our mailbox. Last week we received two films, AK The Hard Way and Hand Cut. I had a chance to check out the first of the two to arrive, AK The Hard Way . . .
AK The Hard Way is the third film from Duane...
It's Huckleberry Season
It's Labor Day weekend in Oregon, so why am I wearing a down jacket? Because I'm standing at the base of Mt. Adams, a 12,276-foot volcanic giant in southern Washington, just across the river from better known Mt. Hood. Locals will tell you that it is always 10 to 20 degrees colder up here, and on this shivery holiday weekend I believe it.
Mt. Adams is a glorious sight today, the white summit gleaming in the sunlight and the crumbly shale visible where the snow has receded....